Mahabharata event timeline: Assumed vs. Validated

Shri Phadnis writes…

Krishnashishtai timeline is not acceptable. One cannot ‘assume’ events not mentioned in the text, directly or even indirectly, to suit one’s theory. Krishna spent only 2 or max. 3 days in Hastinapur and not 7 or 8.


With all these problems of month names, Nakshatras and tithis, speculation about Krishna idling in Hastinapur for 6-7 days to match the tithis is meaningless and un-called-for.

I assert that insistence of Shri Phadnis for Krishna’s stay in Hastinapur (on a peace mission) for 2-3 days (instead of 7-8 days or longer) is driven by his confusion due to ‘assumed’ vs. ‘validated’ theory/proposals (assumptions of his theory – e.g. Short duration= 2-3 days vs. internal & external consistency based on testing of a theory against evidence –in this case evidence of Mahabharata text) employed by him in interpreting Mahabharata text.

The Mahabharata chronology references are so scant that it is reasonable for someone (like Shri Phadnis) to propose that Krishna’s stay in Hastinapur was only for 2-3 days. But then one must realize that this is only the starting point, a guess, a conjecture, a theory.

One should never confuse ‘proposed theory’ with a ‘corroborated or validated theory’.

Many Mahabharata researchers (including myself) have proposed 7-8 days for Krishna in Hastinapur.  Krishna ‘idling’ in Hastinapur for 7-8 days, as stated by Shri Phadnis, is not a speculation of these Mahabharata researchers.  Rather, it is the inference drawn based on series of specific Mahabharata text references.

They are…

(1) Krishna left from Upaplavya (for Hastinapur) on nakshtra Revati

(2) He stayed overnight during his journey and reached Hastinapur after 2+ days of travel (hence inference of he reaching Hastinapur on nakshatra Bharani

(3) During his stay in Hastinpur, one of the days, Duryodhan refers to that day being day of nakshatra Pushya and calls on kings of his side to march to Kurukshetra.

(4) As Krishna leaves Hastinapur, he holds conversation with Karna, and during his conversation, refers to upcoming ‘Shakra Amawasya’ occurring in about 7 days. Assuming Shakra Amawasya to be the Amwasya when sun was near nakshtra Jyestha (and going backwards by 7-8 days), the day of Krishna-Karna dialogue can be estimated to be that of Uttara Phalguni.

Thus, if one counts Nakshatra from Bharani to Uttara Phalguni, one can estimate Krishna’s stay in Hastinapur to be about 7 to 11 days! and nowhere close to 2-3 days as proposed by Shri Phadnis.

Consider Shri Phadnis statement, in the context of above evidence from Mahabharata text, when he writes..

I will end with a general remark that the story in the text must override any astronomical references which clash. One cannot twist and hang the story on Astronomy reference pegs.

What Shri Phadnis missed is the fact that in the absence of astronomy (mention of Nakshatra) evidence, one has no way to determine amount of time spent by Krishna in Hastinapur and thus guess of one researcher is as good or bad as any other researcher.

It is only due to presence of (by luck) astronomy/nakshatra references of Mahabharata text, we can at least estimate minimum duration of Krishna’s stay in Hastinapur.

Thus there is no alternate story (in the text), other than guesses, for duration of Kishna’s stay in Hastinapur, in the absence of astronomy evidence.

Where comes the question of astronomy references clashing with the story of the ‘text’?

And where comes the question of ‘twisting’ or ‘hanging on the story’ on astronomy reference pegs?












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